Let me start by saying that I don’t think the label “deep dive” was necessarily correct for this session. However, I don’t believe that to be a bad thing and it probably has a lot to do with how much this whole process was simplified by MS… seriously, fantastic improvements. That being said, it was deep and technical enough to where I had to pay a lot of attention and wasn’t able to take as many notes as I have in some of the previous sessions I attended, hence the shorter post. The following are some of the key highlights I came away with.

Important changes in Acronyms

  • BCS – Business Connectivity Services
  • BDC – Business Data Connectivity (he mentioned that this is what the case, but I continued to see the term “Business Data Catalog” used in various screens in SharePoint; this could be related to the BETA.)

Key BCS Investments

  • Development
    • Tools built-in to Visual Studio
  • Connectivity – Read and Write data
  • Tooling – Integrated tooling in VS and SharePoint Designer
  • Lifecycle Management – Automated solution packaging, deployment and management
  • Search
    • Item Level Security
    • Indexing attachments
    • Crawl and Query WCF svcs
    • Writing Custom Connectors
    • Incremental Crawls (LastModifiedTimeStamp)
    • Incremental Crawls (GetDeletedID, GetChangedIDs)
    • Batching
  • Easily Create Content Sources
  • Create “External Lists” that display data from BCS

BDC Runtime Improvements

  • Client and Server symmetrical model
    • Write back capable (was capable before, but now its supported and easy)
    • Batch read operations
    • Navigate and create associations
    • Bulk APIs
    • Read Blobs (streaming support)
    • Read and write back complex types (Dot notation)
    • Simple type conversion
  • Uniform experience across various systems types
  • Extensibility mechanisms
    • .NET Assembly Connector
    • Custom Connector
    • Secure Store Provider

Offline Capabilities with Office Integration

  • Errors and conflicts stop synchronization of affected items only and prompt user for action
    • Advanced API allows customizations so that users don’t necessarily get prompted and specific action be taken in case of conflicts.

Configurable Throttling (Really cool, can result in significant improvements to performance in the farm.)

  • Number of connections
  • Pau Load Size
  • Time Out
  • Power Shell support to read and modify settings
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